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Storing over the Winter -
Body Exterior and Chassis:
Look for scratches, rust spots,
chrome plating, brass and or
Look at the paint in general, on
the body, fenders and wheels.
Winter is a good time to make
Clean and polish the body and chrome.
Remove the dead bugs and other
residue like mud and tar globs.
Grease all the fittings just to be sure
they will accept grease.
If you find you have a problem now,
you have all winter to fix it.
Look for cracking or scratches and
poor weather stripping. It's a good time
to wash it thoroughly.
Check for proper inflation and unusual
wear patterns, as well an cuts and tears.
Check the convertible top material,
soft top, snaps, fastenings and bindings.
Clean it thoroughly.
Get out those crumbs, spilled french
fries, and just plain dust and dirt.
Use a vacuum cleaner.
Don’t forget about mice and other animals
like moths or ants who may have
made a home in your car.
Look everything over carefully.
Check door panels, window regulator
handles, dashboard (all the gauges
working), steering wheel, controls,
choke, spark, throttle, floor mats,
Be sure to check interior fabric or
leather and clean or condition it
Make sure that it’s clean.
Batteries can discharge due to
moisture and dust across the top
between the terminals.
Clean the terminals and posts,
replace and tighten them, then
coat them lightly with Vaseline.
Don’t coat the posts or the terminals
before you re-assemble them, as
that can cause a poor connection
which will result in a voltage drop
which causes poor starting and
The battery should be stored
in a cool place.
A fully charged battery will not freeze,
but a battery stored at 80 degrees will lose
lose 1% of its charge every day.
Be sure to test your anti-freeze
It’s a good idea to use some antifreeze,
even in warm climates.
Most recommend a 50/50 mix
If it’s time to change antifreeze,
it’s a good idea to flush the cooling
system before you add the new
At this time, it will never be easier
to check and replace any hoses
Be sure to check your fan belts.
If your water pump has a grease
fitting, grease it with water pump
grease, not regular chassis lube.
Clean all the bugs and other
stuff from your radiator.
Be sure to use some form of stabilizer
and preferably drain the vacuum tank
(if you have one) and run the carburetor
dry if you’re going to leave the car in
storage over the Winter with out
running the engine.
With today’s fuels, a gas shut off valve
at the tank is a very handy device
Whenever you are going to leave
your car in storage, just shut off the
gas supply and let the engine run until
the gas lines and carburetor run
out of fuel.
If you don't have a gas shut off
valve, you should either fill up the
gas tank to the full mark and add
conditioner or drain it out
With all these things taken care of, you
should be ready to enjoy your
classic car come Spring.
Bringing your Car
Out of Storage -
The first thing to do is look underneath
This will tell you if you have any leaking
problems, such as a hose, a seal, the
radiator or a blown gasket.
If the car has been sitting in the garage
for years, you should drain all fluids
and flush all systems before replacing
However, if the car has just been sitting
in your garage over the Winter months,
this isn’t normally necessary.
Instead, do an oil and filter change.
Flush the fuel lines, drain and flush the
radiator and check levels of all
Checking the Battery:
A car that is being stored should
have its battery disconnected and
shelved to protect it.
Make sure your battery terminals
are clean and shiny, clean
with a wire brush, charge it
However, if the car has been sitting for
years with the battery connected,
you will need to get a new one and
install new cables as well.
Before you Start your Car:
If your car hasn’t been started for
over the Winter months, you should
take off the spark plugs and lubricate
If you haven’t removed your spark plugs
before, label the plug wires as you
remove them, because they fire
in specific order.
Be careful when you pull the wires,
making sure that you grasp them as
close to the engine as possible.
Once your spark plugs are removed,
turn your ignition key a few times,
this will enable the lubricant to lubricate
the walls of the cylinders.
Keep running the engine until your oil
pressure shows as normal.
Then replace the spark plugs correctly.
Take off the engine’s air filter cover, and
then spray engine starter fluid through
the carburetor mouth.
This will give you a good chance to start your
engine, so now it’s time to give it a go.
Before you drive out of the Garage:
When your car starts, just let the engine
idle and slowly warm up.
Don’t rev up the engine.
While it’s running, put the air filter
cover back on, and check for leaks
and the level of transmission fluid.
Now shut the engine off, and go back
under the hood to check for any hoses
or belts that need tightening.
Replace if you see cracks or rot
Also, lubricate the suspension.
Before you drive off, make sure you have
checked the brakes thoroughly.
Rotors, drums and friction linings should
all be inspected, and check wheel
cylinders for corrosion.
While driving for the first
being in storage, watch your voltage
and oil and coolant temperatures
and take care
when braking as rust
may have built up on the drums and
rotors which will add to
Don't forget to change the oil and
filter before you drive off, or take
your car to your favorite shop and
get an oil change as soon as you take
it out of storage, even
if you did it
before you put your car in storage.
With all these things
taken care of, you
should now be ready to enjoy your
These tips are merely a recommendation
to help save you time and money.
Check with your mechanic for professional
advice or service.